Review: Buy Ise Souvenirs in Japan’s Kanto Region at the New ISE SHOP

18.February.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

Tama Plaza Terrace, a shopping centre in Yokohama, opened a limited-time pop-up shop on February 9 called ISE SHOP which is selling around 100 products shops located in Japan’s city of Ise.

 

The shop opened in response to the reduction of sales of foodstuff, traditional handicrafts, and more in Ise due to the pandemic as people from Kanto can’t easily travel to Ise. It has enjoyed enormous success over the past week and a bit since its opening and has even been picked up on Japanese television.

 

 

A unique antenna store stocking 100 items from Ise

Located on the second floor of Tama Plaza Terrace, ISE SHOP is open for a limited time until March 28. The first thing to greet customers at the store is the enormous noren curtain which has a distinct colour inspired by the colours of the forest at Ise Grand Shine and of the ocean at Ise Bay. Displayed on the entry curtain are the striking chigi, or forked roof finials, of Ise Grand Shrine.

 

 

ISE SHOP is like a museum

The shop interior is furnished with white and wooden notes to capture the natural landscape of Ise. The products are displayed like items in a museum.

 

A bounty of unique products

 

 

Popular products from Ise are also on show

The popular face mask beauty brand LuLuLun sells a line-up of items exclusive to their Ise-based store, and these are also being sold at ISE SHOP.

 

Ise specialty products

 

The udon noodles made in Ise are a speciality product of the city, and there’s plenty to pick from at ISE SHOP along with other tasty food.

 

Cute omikuji fortunes

 

These shinju pearls are also a famous specialty product of Ise and come in a line-up of items from affordable to more special ones.

 

Hard candies perfect as souvenirs, Asao Nori seaweed for meals, and more

 

 

Two individuals associated with Ise also pay a visit

Hikari Shibata and Yuri Suganuma are involved in the Girls Trip project being held by the Ise Tourist Association and they also visit the store. They were surprised at how many great things you can get your hands on from Ise despite being all the way in Japan’s Kanto region.

 

Left: Hikari Shibata | Right: Yuri Suganuma

Suganuma found a bunch of items she loves when she last went to Ise

 

 

 

Commemorative photo with the ISE SHOP-exclusive bag

 

The ISE SHOP is hosting an event related to Ise’s famous candy where you can pick up a selection of sweet treats on weekends. If you’re staying in Kanto this winter, experience a taste of Ise at the ISE SHOP in Yokohama.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Yokohama Welcomes Products and Souvenirs From Ise at the New ISE SHOP

    10.February.2021 | FOOD

    Tama Plaza Terrace, a shopping centre in Yokohama, opened a limited-time pop-up shop on Tuesday (February 9) called ISE SHOP which is selling goods and products from Japan’s city of Ise.

    The shop opened in response to the reduction of sales of foodstuff, traditional handicrafts, and more in Ise due to the pandemic. Ise is known for its bounty of diverse products, and so this is a way to continue supporting it. Free tourist pamphlets are also being handed out detailing information about the city’s wonders.

     

    Some of the must-grab items

    The store is a showcase of Ise’s history, traditional, and food culture. Shoppers will find staple souvenir items like Ise udon, sea lettuce, hijiki seaweed, pearls, and more. Other touches of Ise include a popular hand cream made with water drawn from the Isuzu River, a fragrance mist also made from the same water, all-new cosmetic items, cookies inspired by the oshiraishi stones spread over the most holy part of Ise Grand Shrine—the list goes on. 58 Ise-based businesses are stocking around 100 products inside the store, so it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in the ancient city.

  • This Week’s Dessert: Indulging in a Seasonal Parfait at Kinoshita Chaen in Ise

    18.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    One thing I do at least once a week without fail is treat myself out to some delicious food or dessert. I find it very important time well spent in order to live a happy, fulfilling life.

     

    This week, a business trip took me out of Tokyo to the city of Ise in Mie Prefecture. When the trip was over, I had some spare time to kill before my train arrived, so I went inside a cafe called Kinoshita Chaen which is close to Ise Grand Shrine.

    You can arrive at Kinoshita Chaen in just three minutes on foot is walking from Ise Grand Shrine, or five mintues from Ise Station. The exterior design of the building takes on a Western style, which I found to be both cute and retro. You can feel the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the cafe as soon as you step inside. The decor is decked out with all things wooden.

    The cafe has been around since the Meiji Period. It serves drinks and desserts all made using tea, and offers both eat-in and takeout services.

     

    I ordered their seasonal-exclusive parfait. 90% of the people in there were ordering it, so I thought it must be popular!

    Strawberry & Parfait Puree Parfait w/ Japanese Black Tea – ¥1,300 (Tax Included)

    This super cute parfait is completely stuffed to the top with strawberries♡

    You can snap cute photos of it no matter the angle♡

    When I spooned the caramel puree, soft custard reveal itself. You get a delicious pairing of the bitter flavour and crunchy texture of the caramel with the subtly sweet custard.

     

    The next ingredient to show itself was the mascarpone cream, which combines with the rest of the flavours perfectly. Once your mouth is satisfied with the sweetness of the flavour combinations, you’re next met with Ise matcha gelato.

    The matcha gelato is a great palate cleanser for the sweet ingredients when eaten on its own. When eaten together with the sweet puree, you get a completely different kind of delicious flavour. I recommend trying it together with the puree, mascarpone cream, and the crunchy pie which is the next layer.

     

    Moving on from the sweetness and bitterness, the next layer is fresh strawberry sherbet, which is a combination of sweet and sour. To finish, you’re brought back to the subtle sweetness once more with white chocolate mousse, strawberries, and mixed berry jelly.

     

    The final bites of a parfait can generally be hard to get down because you grow tired of the flavour, but the ones sold at Kinoshita Chaen are on another level. The various flavours and textures mean you won’t grow tired as you spoon through the many layersーyou’ll find yourself savouring every last bite.

    The Japanese black tea that came with it was luxurious. The cafe actually caters the type of tea they serve to each seasonal parfait. Enjoy a cup together with your parfait.

    Matcha Soy Flour Dumpling Cream – ¥830

    I didn’t get to order them this time, but I’m really taken by the matcha soy flour shiratama dumplings… The dumplings are made in-house and are topped with brown sugar syrup from Okinawa and Ise matcha. The bitterness of the matcha together with the rich sugar syrup is sure to be delicious with some chewy dumplings. I’ll definitely be trying them when I next visit.

     

    I cannot recommend a trip to Kinoshita Chaen enough. Offering an exemplary menu of Ise flavours, their drinks and sweets maintain the culture and tradition of Japanese tea while keeping up to date with current trends in the world of sweets.

     

     

    Today’s Souvenir

    Houjicha Teabags – ¥400 (1 Pack) 

    On the days you get to eat delicious sweets, you’ve got to share the happiness with friends and family. I bought some houjicha tea bags made with tea leaves grown in Mie Prefecture. They have various other teas too, and the packaging is really cute, so they’re perfect as gifts for friends and family.

  • This Week’s Breakfast: Warming Up With Asa Kayu at Asora no Chaya in Ise

    14.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    One thing I do at least once a week without fail is treat myself out to some delicious food or dessert. I find it very important time well spent in order to live a happy, fulfilling life.

    During a business trip to Ise, I decided to treat myself to some breakfast in the coastal city. I got up nice and early and went to pray at the Toyo’ ukedaijingu of Ise Grand Shrine before making my way to Asora no Chaya to order some of their Asa Kayu (“Morning Porridge”) to warm myself up since I was feeling a little cold.

     

    Asora no Chaya is about an 8-minute walk from Ise Stationーwhich by the way is the closest station to the Toyo’ ukedaijingu of Ise Grand Shrineーand just a minute’s stroll from the inner shrine itself.

    At the entrance they had “Asa Kayu” written on the door as pictured above. The cafe itself is located on the second floor.

    The cafe has wood-based decor, and the windows are nice and big, letting lots of natural light seep in. From the window I could see Ise Grand Shrine which I prayed at just moments ago. It’s a place where you can wind down and relax.

     

    I ordered the “Mike no Asa Kayu Awabi” (in Japanese: 御饌の朝かゆ 鮑). I found out that the word mike is used to refer to precious, sacred food. Apparently, your good fortune will increase if you eat it after praying to the god of food at the Toyo’ ukedaijingu.

    Mike no Asa Kayu Awabi (御饌の朝かゆ 鮑) – ¥2,040 (Tax Included)

    My meal arrived in a wooden box. When I opened it, I was happy to see that I not only received the porridge, but other small plates and bowls of food too.

    I was charmed by how shiny the rice was in the sunlight. To eat the thin rice porridge, you add the awabi, pickled vegetables, kombu, bonito broth and other ingredients.

     

    The rice porridge is easy to digest and warms you up to the coreーthe perfect way to relax on a cold day. The combination of the tender bonito and the smooth porridge is a match made in heaven. It’s a very simple dish with no unnecessary additions. It has a gentle flavour that makes your mind and body just wind down and relax.

    As well as the rice porridge, the meal comes with other healthy foods too like dried fish, soft boiled egg and vinegared ingredients. For dessert, you get zenzai which is a type of sweet soup. This is a very special breakfast you can only experience here at this cafe, coupled with a view of Ise Grand Shrine, all in the early morning.

     

    Whenever I wake up early, it feels like I’ll have a very different start to the day than usual, but spending my morning in Ise, praying at Ise Grand Shrine and eating kayu porridge at Asora no Chaya had me holding my head high.

     

    This morning, it was the start of another new day, and I began it feeling dignified.

     

     

    Today’s Souvenir

    Awabi Gohan no Moto – ¥1,300 (Tax Included)

    I wanted to share the happiness between friends and family on this fine day where I got to eat a delicious breakfast. This Awabi Gohan no Moto is an easy way to enjoy awabi. You took it together with rice to make awabi rice. Being able to purchase awabi, which is a high quality ingredient, at this price is an absolute steal.

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Sightseeing in Ise: 4 Must-Visit Souvenir Shops Near Ise Grand Shrine

    02.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The city of Ise is located in central Mie Prefecture on the eastern tip of Kii Peninsula, the largest peninsula on Japan’s largest main island Honshu. Every year, the autumn season brings in a flurry of tourists and sightseers who flock to see the city’s leaves expressing their vibrant hues of red and yellow. The city boasts a magnificent catalogue of sightseeing spots, but perhaps the most famous of all is Ise Grand Shrine, whose inner and outer shrine give visitors a sense of what the townscape looked like in ancient times. This can also be seen at Sarutahiko Shrine, amongst other places.

     

    In this article, we’re going to introduce you to 4 must-visit souvenir shops near the inner shrine for your Ise travel bucket list.

     

    Amano Pearl

    When talking about specialty products of Ise, the one thing that’s sure to come to the minds of Japanese people are the pearls sold in the city. Amano Pearl can be found in Oharaimachi, an almost 1km long street lined with traditional shops. The owner themselves purchases and appraises the pearls while the shop staff manufacture and design gorgeous accessories to sell at an affordable price.

    Accessory – ¥2,200

    This rose-shaped necklace is a design favoured by women of all ages. They have plenty of other high-quality bargain picks like this too.

    The shop’s diverse line-up of beautifully accessories includes those perfect for combining with one pieces and dresses, as well as for parties. Prices and designs vary greatly, so there’s bound to be something for everyone who steps inside this quaint store. So if you’re shopping for souvenirs during your trip to Ise, then you absolutely have to pay a visit to Amano Pearl to see the city’s famous pearls.

     

    ▶︎Amano Pearl – Oharaimachi Branch

    Address: 45 Ujiimazaikechō, Ise, Mie

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: https://www.amanopearl.jp/

     

     

    Matsujiro Honey – Ise Oharaimachi Branch

    Matsujiro Honey is a long-standing honey shop that was established back in 1912. The shop sells various varieties of honey, including flavours you won’t find in supermarkets like apple honey and soba honey.

    Hanabana – ¥864

    Hanabana is the shop’s No. 1 most popular variety of honey and it’s made in Mie Prefecture. Its name in Japanese means “flowers,” and as the name suggests, it includes the nectar of numerous types of flowers. It has a smooth texture and distinct full-bodied floral fragrance.

    Centre: Mini Honey Soap – ¥503 / Right: Honey Soap – ¥2,200 / Left: ¥2,200 Honey Face & Body Oil (48ml) – ¥2,200

    The shop even sells its own honey-imbued cosmetics, all made with natural ingredients. Their soap is made with their popular Hanabana honey, and gives off a flavoursome honey smell. Your skin is left smooth, moisturised and smelling great after using it.

    Their rich honey oil too is made with 90% plant-derived oil and is free from preservatives. It’s a great option for the coming dry season and is gentle on the skin.

     

    If you visit the shop, they let you taste test their different types of honey too! Find your favourite.

     

    ▶︎Matsujiro Honey – Ise Oharaimachi Branch

    Address: 7 Ujinakanokirichō, Ise, Mie

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: https://www.matsujiro.shop/

     

     

    Uoharu

    Uroharu first opened its doors in 1931. Their products are sold as souvenirs to help spread the word of Ise’s rich food culture.

    Same No Tare – Salt Flavour / Mirin Flavour

    The item you absolutely want to look out for when going into Uohara is their “Same No Tare,” another Ise speciality. It was originally only eaten in Shima, Ise, but it was picked up on national television, leading it to become a food souvenir associated with Ise.

    Uoharu’s products are seafood based, and there’s plenty to choose from. If you’re looking for a food product specifically from Ise then look no further than Uoharu.

     

    ▶Uoharu

    Address: 49 Ujinakanokirichō, Ise, Mie

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (*Changes depending on season)

    Closed: Wednesdays (Except on national holidays in which case closed on Thursdays)

    Official Website: https://www.samenotare.jp/uoharu/

     

     

    Henbaya – Oharaimachi Branch

    Yet another speciality product of Ise comes from the much-beloved Henbaya, which first opened way back in 1775. The speciality products, also called “henbaya,” can be ordered either for takeout or enjoyed in the shop.

    Henbaya (Includes 2) – ¥160

    Henbaya are thin, round sticky rice cakes made with top of the range domestic ingredients and packed with smooth red bean paste. Both sides of these deliciously fragrant rice cakes are browned, and when bitten into, fill and melt in your mouth with the sweet, smooth flavour of the bean paste.

    At the Oharaimachi branch of Henbaya they sell various other rice cakes too, all chewy and made with high quality ingredients from Japan. Pick up a pair and enjoy the sweet taste of Ise.

     

    ▶︎Henbaya – Oharaimachi Branch

    Address: 1-149-1 Ujiurata, Ise, Mie

    Closed: Mondays (Except on national holidays in which case closed on Tuesdays)

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Eating in-store runs until 16:30)

    *Products may sell out before 17:00

    *Opening hours subject to change for January

     

     

    So, if you’re making a trip to the beautiful city of Ise, you now know the must-visit spots for finding souvenirs. Let us know if you visit any!

  • LuLuLun Face Mask: A Beautifying Souvenir From the Japanese City Ise

    05.June.2019 | FASHION / SPOT

    When travelling abroad, I find myself buying and taking back lots of different souvenirs for myself and my family. I look for those items that are made with each region’s particular materials and ingredients. By handing them out to people, I’m also sharing a little bit of that place with the people around me too.

     

    Today I introduce to you the “Ise LuLuLun” face mask, a souvenir from the Japanese city of Ise that’s perfect for that one person we all know who’s into beauty and cosmetics.

    The Ise LuLuLun is part of the popular “Tabi Suru LuLuLun” face mask series which sees limited edition face masks sold in different regions. The masks are made from an assortment of ingredients and plants. They are sold not just in Japan but around the world. Some of the variants to hit Japan have included Okinawa Shequasar and Shōdoshima Olive.

    Ise Lululun is the first product in Japan to include extract of sakaki leaf which moisturises the skin. Sakaki is a flowering evergreen tree native to several Asian countries including Japan and is used as a symbol of longevity and vitality. The extract was made in cooperation with Ise City’s manufacturing and tourism department, making this a very special product indeed. The sakaki is used in various Shinto activities such as offering them to altars and household shrines. Ise itself is home to many sasaki trees from which the extract in the Ise Lululun is made. Its moisturising effect ensures the skin stays nice and moist.

     

    Let’s get onto talking about what it’s like to use this product. I’ve used Lululun packs in the past, but the feature of the Ise Lululun is absolutely the fragrance it gives off. The instant you bring the mask to your face your nose is filled with a smell akin to a forest of trees. If you close your eyes it’s like you’re enveloped in nature. It gives you a feeling of peace and tranquillity. And the way it relaxes you is nothing short of incredible… It’s truly a gift and souvenir from Ise, bound with the air and scent of the city.

     

    My face felt so smooth the day. I think I’ll definitely be using this again for special occasions.

    The Ise Lululun is a fusion of the Ise spirit of “being thankful for and treasuring every day” and Lululun’s own spirit of being in high spirits and sound health. At the end of the day it made me hold my head high and say “thank you” to today. I was also warmed by the message written on the packaging (which you can see above).

     

    If you plan a trip to Ise be sure to check out this exclusive beautifying item and maybe pick one up as a souvenir.

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Transform into a ninja and explore Ise Ninja Kingdom!

    07.May.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Ise Ninja Kingdom is full of fun stuff to do! You can enjoy wearing the same clothes as Japanese people did long ago! We recommend you try it.

     

    Take a stroll around Ise Ninja Kingdom and enjoy travelling backwards in time.

    The revived castle grounds are full of photo spots! You can try on luxurious kimonos and take loads of Instagram-worthy photos! You can also dress up like a ninja and challenge yourself to a ninja adventure! This is your chance to embrace your inner ninja!

    Although junk food comes to mind when one thinks of a theme park, Ise Ninja Kingdom has a lot of carefully prepared food. In the castle town, you can eat the same food that ninja would eat. There’s plenty that adults as well as kids would enjoy. You can indulge in the Ise buffet or premium gourmet food that is all made using locally sourced fresh ingredients.

     

    This is your chance to have an authentic experience of foods such as Sobauchi, and even watch chefs prepare tuna. You can watch, experience and eat!

    According to an online survey conducted among leisure parks across the country in March 2019, Ise Ninja Kingdom was acknowledged as the “best cosplay theme park”, the theme park with the tastiest food” and the best “ninja theme park”!

     

    This is where you can make the memories of a lifetime so bring your family and friends to Ise Ninja Kingdom!

  • New Purin Shop ‘Ise Purin no Tetsujin’ Sells Japan’s First Purin Toast

    23.June.2018 | FOOD / SPOT

    Oharai-machi is located in Ise, Mie Prefecture and is an 800-meter stone paved street that stretches from the Uji Bridge to the Naiku, or inner shrine of Ise Grand Shrine. The town is always bustling with tourists from all over Japan. There, a new shop by the name of Ise Purin no Tetsujin specializing in ‘purin,’ a type of Japanese custard pudding, has opened, and is selling the country’s first ever Purin Toast.

    Ise Purin Toast

    Price: ¥500 (Includes Tax)

     

    Purin toast uses specially made bread that’s doused in liquid purin and cooked like French toast. The outside is crunchy and the inside is fluffy. When eaten with fresh cream or soft cream the flavour only gets more delicious.

    Ise Purin (Smooth / Retro / Amazake)

    Price: ¥390 Each (Includes Tax)

     

    At the shop they use specially selected domestic ingredients together with 1kg (over ¥120,000) worth of natural vanilla beans from Madagascar to make their purin. Each is expertly handmade one by one to ensure that soft and velvety melt-in-your-mouth texture. They’re served in one of three flavours: the classic purin, a more retro purin that’s made with eggs and would ring nostalgic to some Japanese people, and a sweet sake purin. A famous pastry shop considered the creator of the classic purin helped in developing the purin at Ise Purin no Tetsujin.

    The shop’s interior contains antique furniture to give it that retro feel. It’s retro, kawaii and a great new photo spot.

    Customers who order a 3-pack or 6-pack of purin will receive a tote bag completely free featuring the store’s original characters.

    Try the new purin toast yourself!

     

    ■Information

    Ise Purin no Tetsujin

    Address: 24 Ujiimazaikecho, Ise, Mie Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 9am-6pm (No Fixed Holidays)

    TEL: 0596-63-9200

    Website: http://dessert-restaurant-626.business.site/

     

    Ise Purin Set of 3 (w/ Tote Bag)

    Price: ¥1,280 (Includes Tax)

     

  • Immerse yourself in the city of Ise at “ISECAFE” in Omotesando

    22.November.2017 | FOOD

    Tokyo Apartment Cafe, a popular cafe in Omotesando, Harajuku is holding a limited-time event titled “ISECAFE” where customers will be able to immersive themselves in the fascinating culture of Ise-Shima.

    main

    The ISECAFE creates an even more delicious and ‘kawaii’ Ise-Shima, opening as a cafe to appreciate the charm of its culture which especially tickles the fancy of girls.

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    The cafe is littered with tourist information on Ise, such as the Ise Grand Shrine, making it a great stop that captures and promotes the excitement of travelling.

     

    The cafe also recommends merchandise and souvenirs to pick up when visiting Ise, as well as places to visit. Whether you’ve been to Ise or not, ISECAFE is an enjoyable experience. Learn all about Ise and everything it has to offer, or feel like you’re there again without having to make the trip.

    sub1

    There’s also a limited-time menu serving up meals using ingredients that can be found when touring Ise-Shima.

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    Only 10 dishes of the gorgeous Ise lobster pasta are served at the cafe each day, so you’d better arrive early. The menu is also graced by “Ise Udon,” a familiar sight in Ise, served with lots of cafe-original toppings.

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    We must not forget the Instagrammable “Ise no Okashi Mori Mori Parfait,” as well as beer sold only in Ise-Shima, yuzu sake cocktails, and more.

     

    Customers can also receive an “Ise Matcha Gelato” if they take a photo in the cafe and upload it on their social media! (*limited to 200 people per day). There are straws too, so be sure to use one and try taking a picture.

     

    ISECAFE also sells a special and affordable plan created by the city of Ise and Central Japan Railway Company that is aimed at women (the “Joshi Tabi Switch”) and includes a round-trip shinkansen ticket and hotel lodging.

    sub8

    Customers that purchase the plan will receive an coupon book to be used in Ise that includes coupons for souvenirs, food and more.

     

    There’s also a plan where you can receive an original ‘goshuincho,’ a plan filled with special bonuses that you can use and enjoy from your travel destination, and more. Pick up one of the travel pamphlets at ISECAFE and see what’s available.

     

    A cafe with beautiful decor and filled with lots of cute souvenirs, with an original menu using ingredients from Ise-Shima, and covering everything to do with traveling there. How does that sound?

     

    ◼︎Information

    ISECAFE

    Address: Green Fantasia 1F, 1-11-11, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0001

    Open: 11:00-23:30 (last orders – 22:00)

    Running: November 17, 2017-November 30, 2017

    Access: 3-minutes by foot from JR Harajuku Station / 1-minute by foot from Meiji Jingumae Station via Tokyo Metro / 6-minutes by foot from Omotesando Station via Tokyo Metro

    Website: http://www.suehiro-ginza.co.jp/

     

    Joshi Tabi Switch Mobile Site: http://sp.joshi-tabi.jr-central.co.jp/coupon_iseshima.html

     

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